Another plot we are going into year 4 of soybeans / radishes. No rotations. Always did Ag beans, but last year planted Eagle seed. Have never has a problem with tonnage but figured most likely need to add some lime or fertilizer at some point?
I do not have any soil nor time to get them done. These plots are in Northern KY and I am PA so we are not close.
I also can’t imagine a bean plot without fertilizer and lime if you haven’t in four years. Again, google recommended amounts and fertilize as recommended. Lime that plot asap. Good luck. The recommended lime amounts will vary based on what current Ph is but just guess and get the lime down as it is only going to help. I did just that on some of my clover plots this last season and the results were astounding.
What seed are you spreading? What the history of the plot regarding fertility amendments? This will make a difference
Some general thoughts assuming that you are only frost seeding clover or some type of legume. 1)Add lime (assuming that most soils are acidic in that area) unless some has been added recently to both plots. Any amount that you add will make fertilizer more available to the plants. A general recommendation is 2 tons of ag lime per acre yearly until desired pH is reached. (FYI:there is a lot of regional variability in neutralizing effect of ag lime.) Pelleted lime is the best way to go if you only have a short time to set up and be there. 2) If planting only clover, choose fertilizer with little to no nitrogen in it (add an inoculant if not already added to the seed). Nitrogen will be the first number of three that is on the bag. It can be spread when you frost seed. 3) For some type of grass type plant (corn, wheat, etc)or brassica fertilizer should contain a fair amount of Nitrogen as well as the phosphorous and potassium. It is best to spread this prior to a rain shower when plants are green to prevent leaching of the nitrogen.
But if your plot is being utilizing by game as is, I would do nothing but a soil sample this year, cut as needed and then plan for next year.
Yes putting lime and fertilizer down should help this year, but why do it twice. There is other factors to food plots. Such where the plot is located, what kind of other food is in the area that make a plot. If it's a mountain plot with with little to no other quality food in the area. Even a plot that's only fair will be a good plot. I know of a plot that's right now 75% weeds/grass and about 25% clover, it's a mountain plot and the best food of it's kind for miles. There deer in it ever day because it's the best food around.
I test mine every year but if your plots are growing great then I wouldn’t overthink it too much.
And I’m amazed that you can grow soybeans on .5 acres in Kentucky and actually get them established! You fencing them in?
Pat - Yes we fence the beans in. Instead of using the double row technique we put orange flagger tape on the top of the fence posts. It stretches and flaps in the wind causing the same effect as double fencing. Basically made this idea up because we couldn't afford a second fence. I can't prove it was a perfect method, but seemed to work for us.
We used Eagle soybean and Ag soybean mixed. They grew so thick the deer actually wouldn't jump the fence to get in them. Eventually we removed the orange tape and literally cleared a path going in. Once we did that the deer came in like wildfire. Since the Eagle seed regrows and we kept the deer out till plot was established. They were never able to eat it all. Still have deer picking up scraps now. The yield from the Eagle seed was insane.
Here are some pics of the 2 clover plots (each is about .5 acre) and the soybean plot (about 1.2 acre). These plots are in Greenup County, basically in the mountains. I was told by landowner they call it "hilltop farming". Was originally used for cattle and just full of rye grass and weeds.